Interview with Gopal Metro and Andy Deane of the band Brighter Fires by goth DJ Jason for AbsolutionNYC
- Hi Gopal, Hi Andy, Thank you for agreeing to this interview. It’s been a long time coming and I am sure your friends and fans will love hearing your words.
- Can you tell us about the how you came to be Brighter Fires?
Gopal: Simply put, Andy and I realized how much we enjoy writing and playing music together.
- What made you choose your name? Is there a story behind it’s choice?
Gopal: We wanted a name that represented hope in times of darkness. The inspiration was three-fold.
First, in Gwynne Dyer‘s book, “War,” a member of the RAF aircrew gave a poignant firsthand account of the WWII firestorm started during the Allied bombing of Hamburg. He said, “I saw no streets, no outlines of buildings, only brighter fires which flared like yellow torches against a background of bright red ash.” We found this imagery haunting, tragic and beautifully powerful.
Second, and on the opposite end of the spectrum, in Henry David Thoreau‘s 1858 journal entry, “October Reflections on the Assabet,” this line caught our eye: “…Our mental reflections are more distinct in this season of the year, when the evenings grow cool and lengthen and our winter evenings with their brighter fires may be said to begin.”
So, we now have the raging of war on one side and the serenity of peaceful reflection on the other. Last, we have the core of Brighter Fires.
There is a spark inside of all of us… When you are alone on a dimly lit dance floor, with the kick drum pounding and the music taking over, there is a point where the world disappears. There is a feeling of rightness within you, of strength, freedom and the self-aware knowledge that you can truly be anything, do anything, achieve anything! The inner spark flares into a fire brighter than the sun, and the feeling is incredible!
We believe that this potential, this brighter fire in all of us, is how we are all supposed to feel all the time. That the only limits we have in the world are the limits we place on ourselves. That all we have to do to improve the quality of our life is learn how to laugh and smile more, and to let the brighter fire shine forth. If we, and all of our friends, fans and family, think about this idea, experiment with it, adopt it; then, it becomes plural. We, all of us, become Brighter Fires.
There is a musical history behind this name as well, and we certainly are not the first artists to champion this cause. We honor our compatriots and predecessors, and recognize our place as simply the latest in a long line of musicians, artists, and people in general who have shared this vision.
- Who or are your main musical influences?
Gopal: It would be very difficult and time consuming to list even our main influences, they are broad and vast. But here is a small sampling: modern compatriots like AFI, She Wants Revenge, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Die Antwoord and Crystal Castles, to classic icons like The Cure, NIN, Depeche Mode, The Chameleons, and Joy Division… plus, many other classic and modern Gothic, Industrial, Post-Punk, Death Rock, Hip-Hop, Metal, Rock, Experimental, Indie and Electronica acts… Midnight Oil, Jethro Tull, Yellowman, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Iron Maiden, Kitaro, H.U.V.A. Network, Skrillex, Garmarna, Brilliant… The list goes on. And these are just some my influences. While we mutually enjoy many of these artists, Andy also has a whole unique list of his own!
Basically anything we enjoy and appreciate on any level becomes an active influence in our writing, synthesized and shaped by our unique and individual experiences and outlook.
- Do you have a favorite band or singer? Who is it?
Gopal: I’ve always loved Midnight Oil‘s Peter Garrett. I’m also a big fan of Lauren Hoffman, Shawn Decker (Synthetic Division). And, of course, Andy Deane. *grins*
- How would you describe Brighter Fires to a music enthusiast?
Gopal: Umm… Awesome? Does that count?
Joking aside, here’s a line from our bio that sums it up: “Influenced by the best dark music of the 80s, 90s and 00s, Brighter Fires are the vanguard of the modern dark rock scene.” You can quote me on that.
- Are you working on new material or concentrating on touring right now?
Gopal: My primary focus is business school, but we are writing and playing shows as often as possible! After I graduate in June of 2013, I will be able to shift much more attention to Brighter Fires growth and service.
Andy is hugely active across the board. He has a new novel coming out, a new Bella Morte record in the works, the second The Rain Within album is almost finished, his photography is taking off, and he is working on a couple of film soundtracks as well.
Even for everything else, we are both very passionate about and dedicated to Brighter Fires and all that it represents, and we are looking forward to creating and performing for our friends and fans as much as possible!
- How is the new album being received by your die-hard Bella Morte fans?
Gopal: So far, they seem to be really embracing it. It is definitely reminiscent of the early Andy-Gopal and Andy-Gopal-Bn days of Bella Morte, and I think a lot of fans have missed that sound. I know we did.
- Is there a message or ideology behind your songs? If so, what is it?
Gopal: As outlined earlier, there is definitely an ideology behind the band, if not behind each individual song. To sum it up again, we feel that life is worth living, that self-expression and happiness (in whatever form they may take) are your right, and that every person has the ability to achieve their highest potential; all they have to do is try and not give up. Perseverance with a smile!
- What does it feel like to be onstage performing?
Gopal: Fucking awesome! It’s nearly as good as being in the crowd and rocking out to a band you adore!
- Do you have any outside interests that influence your writing (or are influenced by your writing)?
Gopal: Pretty much everything, both ways. Our art is a reflection of our life, and our life is a reflection of our art. As I mentioned above, most of my current creative expression is on the business and administrative side of things. Andy, on the other hand, is a massively talented and productive artist; visit AndyDeane.net or follow him on Facebook to stay up to date with all his creative endeavors. His posts and threads are hugely entertaining!
- I’ve known you since you first came to NYC and played in Bella Morte at Alchemy in the mid 90s. I’ve been impressed with your tough “road warrior” abilities as a touring act. What keeps you going?
Gopal: Friends like you. True story.
Plus, we are completely addicted to creating and performing. When I left Bella Morte, I tried to stop, but I had to come to terms with the fact that I’m hooked for life. And also that I really missed getting to hang out with everyone!
- What are you most proud of throughout your musical history?
Gopal: We are proud, honored and humbled by the reports from so many people that our music has helped them get through hard times, picked them up when their down, and has improved their quality of life in any way.
It is an absolute pleasure and joy to be able to serve our fans in that way.
- What are you looking forward to?
Gopal: The NYC show at Uncle Mike’s on May 12th, the Charlottesville, VA show on May 24th, the continued success of Brighter Fires first album (check it out at BrighterFires.com), the growth of our Facebook fanbase, launching a YouTube channel, meeting new friends, and hanging out with old friends.
Life is awesome, right now. And it is only getting better!
- Any final words?
Gopal: Jason, huge thanks to you for all of your friendship and support over years. And huge thanks to the support and dedication of all of our friends and fans. Without all of you, we would not exist!
If anyone reading this would like to contact us, please hit us up on Facebook: http://facebook.com/brighterfires. We’d love to hear from you!
We wish you all the best!